"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8: 5-8
A young girl and a young boy were each given an expensive remote control car to play with - one of those beautiful large ones that hummed and whirred with incredible speed and precision turning. The young girl excitedly took the remote control and then tentatively eased the car into motion, testing the feel of her control. Once comfortable with the feel, she proceeded to take the care carefully around the room, driving it in much the same manner as her Mom or Dad would their "real" car. She has a lot of fun taking the toy through its paces all the while taking very good care of it.
Can you imagine what the little boy did?
The little boy lustily grabbed the remote control and immediately accelerated the toy, as fast as it would go, right into the wall - where it flipped into the air two times and landed on its side. He erupted with a delighted belly laugh of satisfaction upon seeing this collision. He then flipped the car back onto its wheels and ran it into the wall again with similar results. For the next little while he created new and varied ways to crash, demolish, and destroy the car. As you might imagine, it wasn't long before he ran crying into his Mom's arms complaining that his toy was broken.
Now, this is not meant to be a judgment statement on gender differences while driving - though I will point out that teen boys may much more for car insurance that teen girls ;)
This little example is a story of control...
Both the boy and the girl were given complete control of the toy. One used their control to destroy it, the other used her control to use it for what it was intended for.
Who's in control of your life? The Spirit or the flesh?
If your flesh (or your natural sinful instincts) are in control of your life - the Scriptures say that you are running yourself headlong into destruction, and you will never be able to please God. The flesh selfishly wants sensory pleasure. It wants to quench our sinful desires to please ourselves first and foremost. Much like the young boy with the car we end up pleasing ourselves to death.
But, if the Spirit of God dwells within you - Jesus takes remote control. You will want what God wants, go where God wants you to go, do what God wants you to do. As the Scripture says, you will live a life of peace. God himself at the controls will direct you in the wonderful ways of righteousness with care, precision, and joy.
So, who controls your direction (your mind and the choices you make)? Is it the Spirit or the flesh? Perhaps it is a little of both, with us fighting tooth and nail, not wanting to relinquish the controls over to God.
May each one of us be brave and humble enough to hand the remote over to God, and simply sit back and enjoy the ride.
Be God's, Scott